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J Med Chem. 2014 Aug 14;57(15):6668-78. doi: 10.1021/jm5007275. Epub 2014 Jul 24.

Discovery of a novel, first-in-class, orally bioavailable azaindole inhibitor (VX-787) of influenza PB2.

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Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. , 50 Northern Ave, Boston, Massachusetts 02210, United States.


In our effort to develop agents for the treatment of influenza, a phenotypic screening approach utilizing a cell protection assay identified a series of azaindole based inhibitors of the cap-snatching function of the PB2 subunit of the influenza A viral polymerase complex. Using a bDNA viral replication assay (Wagaman, P. C., Leong, M. A., and Simmen, K. A. Development of a novel influenza A antiviral assay. J. Virol. Methods 2002, 105, 105-114) in cells as a direct measure of antiviral activity, we discovered a set of cyclohexyl carboxylic acid analogues, highlighted by VX-787 (2). Compound 2 shows strong potency versus multiple influenza A strains, including pandemic 2009 H1N1 and avian H5N1 flu strains, and shows an efficacy profile in a mouse influenza model even when treatment was administered 48 h after infection. Compound 2 represents a first-in-class, orally bioavailable, novel compound that offers potential for the treatment of both pandemic and seasonal influenza and has a distinct advantage over the current standard of care treatments including potency, efficacy, and extended treatment window.

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